South Shields Ladies were well beaten by an impressive York City side as the visitors ran out 5-1 winners on Sunday.
The result left the Mariners still searching for their first points of the season in the North East Regional Women’s League, having lost all three of their games so far.
They faced a difficult task at Harton Welfare against York, who ended the day top of the table with 10 points from four games, and are expected to challenge for the title.
Shields will therefore hope to use Sunday’s game as a learning curve as they look to build their way into the campaign.
Scott Curtis’ side created the first opportunity as Isla Maggs tried her luck from distance, but the effort comfortably cleared the bar.
The visitors came close to opening the scoring minutes later as a shot from close range was dragged wide, but they did take the lead moments afterwards.
An inviting cross found the unmarked Sophie Tinson, and she headed past Scarlett Gowans and into the top corner.
Shields almost responded immediately as Caitlin Bates whipped the ball into the penalty area and Eve Gatens’ volley went just wide.
York scored the crucial second goal, though, as a floated corner made its way to the edge of the penalty area and a low shot from Milly Ash sneaked into the far post.
Bates came close to halving the deficit when she poked the ball beyond the goalkeeper, but the effort was cleared off the line.
It was then Gatens’ turn to come close, but her well-struck effort from distance was straight at the goalkeeper.
Only moments after the restart, York made it three. Another cross into the box caused unrest, and the ball was prodded home from close range by Holly Findlay.
York made it four midway through the second half when a well-hit free-kick by Tinson struck the inside of the post and bounced into the net.
The visitors had an opportunity to add a fifth as an incisive break saw Tinson go through on goal, but Gowans made an excellent save.
Shields were then awarded a penalty. Gatens made space and was about to pull the trigger before being brought down. She then confidently fired the spot kick into the bottom corner.
Gatens came close to adding a second, but was beaten to the ball in the nick of time by the goalkeeper as she intercepted a square pass from Bates.
Any lingering Shields hopes were extinguished, though, when York scored their fifth through Rebecca Fevers, who lifted the ball into an empty net after a miscued clearance.
Mariners head coach Scott Curtis said: “It was disappointing to lose in the fashion that we did, because it was important to build on last week, when we beat Chester-le-Street United in the FA Cup.
“We just need to make sure we respond to this and learn from our mistakes.”
Image: Craig McNair.
South Shields’ Under-18s will take on York City in the third qualifying round of the FA Youth Cup.
The tie is to be held at 1st Cloud Arena on Thursday, October 14th and will kick-off at 7pm.
Admission will again be priced at £3 for adults and £1 for concessions, and support would be hugely appreciated after a crowd of 360 cheered the young Mariners on to a 4-3 win over Stockton Town in the previous round.
The winners of this tie will move to within one more victory of a place in the first round, which Shields have twice reached – and surpassed – since the club’s Academy was formed in the summer of 2017.
Striker Jason Gilchrist has linked up with York City on a month-long loan deal.
With South Shields currently unable to play games or train together due to national coronavirus restrictions, Gilchrist has become the third Mariner to join a National League North side on a temporary basis in a bid for match action.
Gilchrist’s move follows similar deals which took Dillon Morse and Blair Adams to Gateshead last week.
We wish Jason well for his loan spell as he aims to help bolster York’s promotion bid.